Italian fashion and film – A series of events celebrate the birth of the Made in Italy fashion phenomenon. It’s about the occasion of the First Italian Haute Couture Show, on February 12, 1951. Cultural and economic policy uses the opportunity to recall the iconic dresses worn by movie divas. Which, in 2023, conveniently coincided with the currents of the contemporary global fashion market.

Through the initiative of the Ministry of Culture of Italy, through the embassies, the world gets to know historical models. A traveling thematic exhibition introduces the world to the roots of Italian fashion. The creations originate from the archive funds of fashion houses. It`s primarily early Gatinoni, by Fernanda and Raniero. Then, best of Armani, Gucci, Valentino, Versace, Ferre, Missoni, Moschino, Dolce&Gabana, Max Mara, Cavalli, Prada, Blumarine, ETRO, Balestra and Galicina.

The author Stefano Dominella varied five settings with similar names about Italian fashion. Each case adheres to the thesis of the stimulating post-war film industry role (Cinećita). For decades, the growth of Italian fashion went hand in hand with the once undisputed Paris. They were bringing out iconic models created in Italy since the 1950s was a moving fashion extravaganza in 2023. At the same time, in each of the five exhibition versions, S. Dominella put mostly the same “old” models in a completely different context and gave them a new shine.

Italian fashion and film – Stefano Dominella`s touring exhibition in Seoul, Belgrad, Muharraq, Madrid, and Rome

The first presented, Italy is Fashion exhibition was in Seoul, South Korea on 12, February 2023. The setup was a simulation of a runway fashion show in the monumental space of High Street Italia. It marks the key high fashion models of the 50s, then the sweet 60s. As well as, the revolutionary 70s, and the 80s, to contemporary trends. Seoul, as a mogul in the expansion of luxury consumption, is a promising market for Italian fashion. The concept of internationalization of fashion combines traditions and technologies, business and economy. In Seoul, the exhibition was part of the Italian Fashion in Korea Fair. Also, including Show of Young Italian Designers as a market promotion.

Italy is in Fashion in Belgrade

I have faced the second project displaying, Italy is in Fashion in Belgrade. After a dazzling in Seoul, for space in Belgrade, S. Dominella arranged a classic museological display, mostly in glazed spaces. Improve concept adapts organizing according to the meaning and purpose of each model. The movie magic of footage from the cinematheque envelopes the cult models of expensive materials. In addition, enabled movie projections in the cinema hall on the occasion of the exhibition Italy is in Fashion. An exclusive local addition is the 1960 film Love and Fashion.

At once, Desanka-Beba Lončar heard about shooting a movie. That would drive a Vespa, ride a plane, and wear beautiful dresses… For herself, It was like a dream.

A scene from the movie Love and Fashion. The actress, once known as Yugoslav BB, rides the popular Vespa motorcycle, Belgrade 1960.

Tales of Italian Fashion, Muharraq, Kingdom of Bahrain

Then, the traveling Made in Italy project was the guest in the Kingdom of Bahrain of the United Arab Emirates. There, under the name Tales of Italian Fashion, the exhibition presented a lot of fashion stories.

The exhibition opens on September 27 at the Bin Matar Memorial Building, Muharraq. This aesthetically neutral interior is a bright, spacious environment where each model is available for careful viewing. As the author of the exhibition announces, the fascinating world of Italian fashion comes to the visitors’ faces. In a selection adapted to a new clientele, each piece has its own fascinating story.

Photograms of Italian Fashion in the 1950s, Madrid

Italian fashion and film – The next edition hosted the Italian Institute of Culture in Madrid, entitled Photograms of Italian Fashion in the 1950s from October 25, 2023, to January 13, 2024. Marialuisa Pappalardo enthusiastically describes the installation where images and photographs of film protagonists flow next to the clothes. So, Fotograms of Italian Fashion reveal the truth. For film, fashion is not just a way to realize beauty, and film, for fashion, is not just an imagination.

The whole design corresponds to a baroque interior, with preserved stylistic elements. Models on mannequins, while in the space there are installations that give meaning and visual context to the costumes. Photograms are freestanding exhibit frames from films broadcast on film screens in hall space. Presents effective details of corresponding large-format photographs.

In the center is Ingrid Bergman’s dress, which she wore in the film Europa 51; on the right, a film projection on the screen; and on the left is a photogram of Kim Novak in front of Fernanda Gatinoni’s creation that she wore privately.

Italian Institute of Culture in Madrid, hosted a version, entitled Photograms of Italian Fashion in the 1950s

In the foreground, next to Penelope Cruz’s costume set from the movie L´inmensitá, is a photogram with the image of the protagonist. And on the far right is Sophia Loren’s red dress in which she danced the mambo, in the movie Bread, Love and… directed by Dino Risi.

Fifties in Rome – a fashion of the 1950s. Lodoviko Bonkompani Museum

Upon returning to Italy, the Organizers want a local concept highlighting domestic models. Thus, the new selection presented film costumes and celebrity clothing in Rome as the Fashion Capital.

An extraordinary convenience in Rome (November 14, 2023-January 14, 2024) is the symbiotic version of the setting. The dresses harmoniously fit into the Lodoviko Bonkompani Museum interiors. Because the existing exhibition presents decorative art, clothing, and fashion of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Thus, the performance of Italian fashion varies in each new station. The touring exhibition of celebrity dresses, starting with costumes in iconic film scenes of the 1950s and 60s, marks haute couture history. Nowadays, he also advocates environmental awareness, with an increasing share of recycling in clothing.

My matinee at the Ethnographic Museum – a fashion time machine

I visited the Belgrade exhibition (May 17- June 1) shortly after its opening. Under the hot sun, I hastily cleared my way through the ruins of the old and the glare of the glass towers of “Belgrade on the Water”. But lucky me, I got hold of the deep shade of the building. Originally, was the Belgrade Stock Market, today the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade, Studentski trg 13.

There I found exclusive exhibits but without accompanying information. I was even more amazed by the original dresses of the actresses that I saw in the cinema in my childhood. After the brief announcement of the magnificent exhibition of Italian fashion, the media still did not react significantly.

As I wrote already, the emphasis is on the birth of the Made in Italy phenomenon. The project’s author, Stefano Dominella, marks the root of this phenomenon in a Florence fashion show on February 12, 1951. Since then, Italy has had a glorious fashion way. The world adored the Italian style, the glittering of movie stars, and the cream of the world.

Best illustrative examples of the Made in Italy Concept, as I find out

The markers of the exhibition are the dresses of Hollywood stars of the 50s. For example, the Empire style for Audrey Hepburn in the blockbuster film War and Peace introduced a new romantic “fashion” around the world.

So here, in the photo is an empire-style, silk dress with rich embroidery. Fernanda Gatinoni made for Audrey Hepburn as young Natasha.

The dress in the foreground is for her dancing debut on this screen. Photo of detail of exposition at the Lodovico Boncompani Museum in Rome.

In a different, opposite case is the modern mermaid dress of Anita Ekberg, in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”, the film winner of numerous awards.

Actress and the dress model, in a very short time, became a universal vision of style and sensuality. Also, the City of Rome achieved prestige as the cradle of haute couture.

The Gatinoni brand, leading designers Fernanda Gatinoni, her son Raniero, and now Guillermo Mariota

Italian fashion and film – At first, I can emphasize, that the key contribution is the fashion house Gattinoni, founded in Rome in 1944. That is why most of the works of the originator of this era, Fernanda Gatinoni. The film industry of the Cinecittà and the constant presence of film divas, in the 50s, brought Rome the glory of Hollywood on the Tiber. Fernanda Gatinoni creates film costumes, that I have mentioned above. But also prestigious high fashion for noble ladies and the world’s jet set.

Italian fashion and film-Belgrade-Gatinoni-pleated-shirt-taffeta-collection-Orlando-1993.jpg

Taffeta shirt, pleated, Orlando, 1993. Ethnographic Museum, Belgrade

Fernanda’s son Raniero Gatinoni, along with haute couture, spices up the development of a production, so-called ready-to-wear line. But with a poetic nature, Raniero adapts costumes for unusual characters, such as the knight Orlando, the title character of a baroque opera. This is where the Orlando fashion collection comes from.

The Venezuelan Guillermo Mariotto brings a completely new liveliness to the house of Gattinoni. He is engaged in various design research. In addition to fashion sensationalism, Mariotto excels in eco-design. For example, the influence of robotics on fashion celebrates the deep connection between scientific technologies and art. The contemporary creation of Venezuelan-born, now chief designer Brenda Gatinoni, illustrates the motif of the Italian flag for the jubilee of an Italian parliamentarian. The design “In Honor of the Italian Flag” from 2021 is an organdy evening gown, in the colors of the Italian flag.

Italian fashion and film – Variant of promotion of domestic high fashion in the Lodovico Boncompani Museum in Rome

Italian fashion and film – The fifth exhibition of the series, The Fifties in Rome – Fashion of the ‘1950s, lasted until recently at the Lodovico Boncompani Museum in Rome. An imposing and elegant location, with its Baroque style environments, in which the exhibits are located is a special curiosity. The exhibition develops along the richly decorated rooms of the Museum of Decorative Arts, Clothing, and Italian Fashion of the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus, the models are thematically and aesthetically integrated into the space. For example, in the hall with tapestries, there are lacy vintage dresses from the 50s, and brightly colored floral prints, inspired by the style of the Nineteenth Century.

Besides a long evening dress, fashion brings a new concept of a cocktail dress. Short, wide pleated skirts are of festive fabrics, such as lace, or with lavish embroidery of expensive textiles.

To help young talents, the Museum with the Accademia de Luso in Rome offers a special benefit. The exhibition project involved local schools and the collaboration of students, to create sketches inspired by the 1950s. Italian fashion and film – a commission will award the most talented of the students’ free enrolment in one of the Accademia Del Lusso’s courses. That`s aimed to convey the fundamental values of Made in Italy to its students through the appreciation and rediscovery of history, where tradition meets innovation.
Everybody looks forward to seeing young talents there!

Thank you, Dear readers, for your patience, and I hope to earn even your interest,
Sincerely, Branka on Textiles

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